I am the Wicked Witch of the North

My daughter hates me, and I’m the worst parent in the world.

(my husband isn’t too keen on me either. Last night he said that I’ve been ‘acting like a complete arse-hole all month’. ‘Could you be a bit more specific?’ I asked, after all I had just given him a detailed litany of everything he’s done wrong for the last month; he wasn’t giving me much to work with. There was no reply, he’d already stomped off to bed.)

This situation obviously warrants further investigation. Both my daughter and my husband are angry with me. Are these things connected? Is it me?

When I think back over the last month, I can’t deny that there have been times when I have mislaid both my rose-tinted spectacles, and my sense of humour. I’m not sure where I left them but it was possibly in my wine glass which I didn’t pick up for most of the month. ‘Dry January’, although a wonderful month in many ways, was a very serious month. I started a new job, worked in the evenings on my blog and my IT skills, and drove everywhere. My world shrank to the small confines of my new office and my new car, my horizon extended no further than the top of the computer screen which I peered over occasionally, to see my daughter’s scowling face.

At 11 years old, she is already on page 375 of the Teenage Terror Handbook (she always was a fast reader). She’s already read about teenage eating disorders and occasionally decides to have one, usually when she doesn’t like what’s being offered for dinner.

‘I’m not having any,’ she says ‘I’ll just starve myself,’ although judging by the stash of crisps and chocolate under her bed, that might take a while.

Sometimes I find all of this mildly  amusing, and I say in a very jolly fashion

‘You can’t be up to there in the teenage manual already, surely! We are not supposed to get to that until you are 13!’ and she will disappear, getting the message that Mum is fully in control of the situation and not losing her temper (also, possibly, that she can refuse to eat dinner once she gets to 13, but I’m going to have to worry about that later).

On days like this she will reappear for dinner later and eat without saying a word more on the subject. Homework and bedtimes can be dealt with in a similar light-hearted fashion, and I congratulate myself on how easily I am holding down a job and Parenting without stress or shouting.

Until we get to Day 23 of Dry January, and my precious Rose Bud has reached page 116 in the Teenage Manual by 6pm, bombarding me as soon as I walk through the door with ‘I need an i-phone because my friend just got one, and I’m not having any dinner, and no I’m not doing any homework, it’s got nothing to do with you, and why can’t I have an I-phone 5?’

Unable to pour myself a glass of patience, I feel my temper rising, my chest becoming tight with air which suddenly won’t come out, my throat aching with the angry words which are finally expelled:

‘Why can’t you stop acting like this and just do your homework and eat dinner like a normal child!! Why do you keep arguing about everything? I haven’t got an i-phone, what makes you think you should have one? You are 11 years old, not 16!’

There are days when she plays my part and lightens up the tension with a joke

‘Now calm down, Mum. Just breathe, there you go, breathe in…and breathe out. See? Easy,’ and I sigh and smile at her cheek, and the argument doesn’t happen. There are other days when she says

‘Oh so you’re saying I’m not normal now? You’re the worst Mum in the world!! I HATE YOU!’ and I feel the house shake as her bedroom door slams, and for the next few days she is angry and rude on the rare occasions she comes downstairs.

I take her i-pad away from her because of her rudeness, and now she REALLY hates me, and although I know that I have to stand firm, I still feel guilty because I lost my temper 3 days ago. This is how, on Day 27 of Dry January, I pick my wine glass back up and manage to laugh again, and I feel less alone as I stop shouting at my husband and he stops calling me an arse-hole. Today, as I am writing this, my daughter comes downstairs and stands behind me, wrapping her arms around my neck; tighter and tighter, as she tries to strangle me – no, not really. She has me in a headlock but it’s a hug.  A clumsy puppy hug. She leans her head on mine and says

‘Can we go swimming tonight?’

and the argument is gone and forgotten, my husband is home, and the scent of cooking fills the cottage in the Manchester countryside…and it doesn’t matter who lost their temper; there is hope of forgiveness, and laughter to come…

parenting, manic mondays

Posted on Manic Monday bloghop on Perfection Pending

I linked this post to the Manic Monday bloghop on Perfection Pending.


13 thoughts on “I am the Wicked Witch of the North

  1. I remember those days, when I was a total butt to my own mother. Now I regret it…I might post about that later, but for now I’ll leave that door closed.

    She’ll get over those years, and one day she’ll call you and tell you ‘MOM I’M SO SORRY FOR EVERYTHING I EVER DID WRONG!’ I did anyway..when I had children of my own.

    Little terrors I tell you!!! 😀 But I love them

    • Aw, that’s so nice you said that to your Mum!
      I had some bad times with my Mum too, so when I am telling her about what my daughter is like, I see her smile a little and I say ‘yes, I really deserve this now, don’t I? You can laugh if you want!’
      I try to remember all the good things about my daughter when she’s being like this, because she is great really…:)

      • She sounds like a normal kid. They all have those moments, and so did we. It’ll blow over eventually 🙂 From the sounds of it though, you’re a great mom blessed with an amazing kid

  2. It’s got to be budding hormones right? Happy one minute, and crazy the next? Sounds like my 11 year old nephew. Thank you so much for linking up! Hope you’ll come back every week and link up with me. I’m going to tweet out your post now! 🙂

  3. I have noticed that this January has definitely seen some serious relationship rocking, spouse & family member wise. Here’s hoping February brings an end to the strange strain everyone seems to be in this month. Maybe this is the ‘darkness’ before the dawn?

    • I guess January is the most stressful month, it seems as if winter really bites…I hope that you are right and the skies will lighten for February! For me it’s always a hopeful month as the pressure of New Year is off and spring is on its way 🙂

  4. I love the idea of teenage girls trying on disorders for size. It’s sort of sad, but as a teenage girl once myself, completely true. Loved this post–you found humor and frustration and managed to end on a positive, hopeful note. 🙂

    • Yes, I am sure that girls have to try having at least one disorder or ‘problem’, it seems like a rite of passage. It is a shame 😦 but hopefully just a normal part of growing up!
      Thanks for your comment, I have been struggling to find a positive note lately but finally have managed it; hope has returned! 🙂

  5. I wish I could tell you it gets easier… I’m trying to savor the crap moments anyway. My older daughter is out of the house and engaged to be married. My youngest is 14 and a holy terror most days. I want so badly to punch her in the face. (not really, I really don’t… If I could pull her mouthy spirit out of her and punch IT in the face, that’d be lovely. But her, I love her face.)

  6. Oh boy! My daughters are 3 & 5…this post just created horrific visions of what I will endure when they are pre-teen & teen at the same time! 😉 Some day your daughter will call you and apologize for being this way. I think I was 24 when I did. My mom just smiled and said, oh, it’s normal, your kids will be that way too…. and I thought OH, GREAT! Thanks for sharing your story.

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